Hat Not Hate: Lindenwood participates in anti-bullying organization


Photo by Leah Rosenmiller

Students of Hawthorne School wearing the blue hats in October, 2022.

Hadel Abdelkarim, Reporter

Blue hats are bringing awareness to students and making a trend of #HatNotHate.

Hat Not Hate is an organization put together for anti-bullying, where blue hats are knitted/crouched and then donated to different schools throughout the U.S. The color blue represents awareness and solidarity and is the color to wear in support of bullying prevention.

The #HatNotHate was started by founder Shira Blumenthal when she was working for Lion Brand Yarn and wanted to share her story of bullying and bring awareness to people.

Manager of Access Services Joanna DeYoung saw the cause through her Instagram and wanted to take part in the process as well.

“My friend and I decided to make hats and put them together for shipping so they could go to schools in October for Bullying Awareness Month,” DeYoung said.

DeYoung said the organization first started as a local organization mainly on the East Coast of the U.S., but has grown since 2020. Due to this organization schools around the country request hats to give away in October as part of their anti-bullying programs.

DeYoung does not know Blumenthal personally but knows the reasoning behind her starting the organization.

“I do not know Shira personally, but she’s been very transparent about her story of being bullied and how the impacts of those experiences stayed with her,” DeYoung said. “As an adult, she committed to doing something about bullying in schools. HatNotHate is a way to share her message that every child deserves to be seen and heard and that we all need to stand up to bullying and can choose kindness.”

DeYoung had the idea of bringing the #HatNotHate to Lindenwood University where students can participate and volunteer in making hats for anti-bullying to donate to schools, and with the help from Student Involvement this was able to happen.

“In the fall of 2021, we were talking about ways we could encourage self-care and care for our community and talking through organizations that might be a good fit, I shared what I knew about #HatNotHate,” DeYoung said.

Missouri is considered a drop-off location because the leadership of #HatNotHate wanted to partner with schools and other supporters nationwide and Lindenwood University was the first university to apply.

“A colleague here told me that work like this is important because everyone has some kind of experience with bullying. Either they were bullied or they were a bully,” DeYoung said. “And that was a really helpful thing for me to hear that making and sharing blue hats this way allowed people to connect and amplify messages of inclusion and care for each other.”

Another person who is also involved in the organization is the Manager of Reference Services at the Library Services Leah Rosenmiller.

Rosenmiller thinks this is a great opportunity for students to participate in. Students can learn how to loom a hat and get their service hours for doing so as well.

“I like doing this because it’s cool to see that the students have a real sense of accomplishment…usually when they come to a session if they’ve never been to one before, they don’t know that they can make a loom hat,” Rosenmiller said. “It’s also cool because they’re getting service hours for it which allows them to just keep fulfilling the obligations of their Greek Life if their student organization.”

The drop-off cabinet for Lindenwood University is in the LARC on the main level, right next to the circulation desk and anyone can donate hats.

Sundays and Wednesdays are the session days where students can go to the LARC and loom hats, however; there are no more sessions for this semester.

There will be more sessions next semester and students can count their volunteer work as service hours. Faculty and staff who come to sessions can count that time towards professional development.